Manali: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the Kalka-Katra rail service through video-conferencing from the Bhuntar airport here today. While the Central government is busy highlighting the achievements of the government in the past one year, the Himachal unit of the BJP seemed unconcerned on the launch of the new rail route as a small event was held on the Kullu-Manali airport premises at Bhuntar and was attended by few senior BJP leaders.Joginder Shukla, media coordinator of the district BJP said the state BJP did not want to take credit of the rail link between Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.
Suresh Prabhu said on Saturday that there will be no dearth of funds for survey of laying of Bhanupali-Manali-Leh railway track which will strengthen the country strategically. Suresh Prabhu was in Manali and was talking about the railway expansion in Himachal Pradesh. “Central governments have always ignored Himachal Pradesh. But, not this time. We shall hold meetings with all departments of the state and fulfill their requirements. Rs.F353 crore have been sanctioned for survey of Bhanupali-Manali-Leh rail line. The government will make sure that there should be no shortage of funds. Railway and defence minister will work together on this project,” he said.
He added that the defence minister will visit Himachal soon to check progress of the survey of rail line. He also added that Rs 60 crore have been sanctioned for survey of converting Jogindernagar-Pathankot narrow gauge line into broad gauge line. When asked about China developing infrastructure along borders of Himachal and Ladakh, Prabhu said all possible efforts are being made to connect its border areas by roads and rail networks.
Defence minister said that mega food parks will be built in each cities of the country and Himachal will also get such parks. “Our government is concerned about farmers. Earlier, farmers having crop damage area of 50% were getting compensation but now, our government has lowered the eligibility to get compensation to 33% of the crop area. BJP will fulfill its all commitments made to people of the country in the next four years,” he said. Union railways minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the inaugural run of Kalka-Katra train through video conferencing from Kullu-Manali on Saturday. Suresh Prabhu said that the train would be beneficial for residents of Himachal Pradesh who wish to visit Vaishno Devi temple.